The Civil Rights Movement

by Darec Amescua

To what degree has the civil rights movement contributed to making the United States a more equal and just society?

The civil rights movement was a very important thing that helped lead our country into the equal and free place that it is for everyone regardless of the color of their skin. Before the Civil Rights Movement there was segregation pretty much all over, that set colored people apart from the rest of the people. The colored people were not treated like human beings at all, the things they needed everyday that were available for the public were treated with much less care. Since these things happened there was a lot of violent as well as non-violent protests. The Civil Rights Movement was the event that really broke down segregation and brought equality to every person.

In this flier there will be an article that discusses the tactics and strategies of the people and groups involved in the movement, photographs from the Civil Rights Movement and descriptions of what is happening in the photos. Also there will be a section where you can take a deeper look a couple heroes from the movement that aren't very famous. Then finally, you will read about a couple groups that were very important during the movement.

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During the Civil Rights Movement there were different strategies used. From 1954 to 1968 the African American society fought for their right to be equal members of the American society. With the help of leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the movement will go farther than most people expected.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an amazing leader. He was a firm believer in a non-violent resistance and having a strong relationship with God. This meant that the African Americans pursued their cause without fighting back physically. African Americans participated in sit-ins, boycotts, and marches. Even when they were faced with extremely violent situations and people, they would not fight back nor would they try to make the situation worse. This was a very key strategy in helping the Civil Right Movement go further.

Others, such as Malcolm X, believed that the African Americans should fight back. because of their beliefs, Malcolm X and King didn't get along well but both stayed with their beliefs. Malcolm X created an alternative for African Americans which was another key in helping move the Civil Rights Movement forward, and helping to create the equal and united country that we are today.

Unsung Heroes

Emmett Till was a young, African American boy who went to visit his cousins an uncle in Money, Mississippi. As Till was walking out of a convenient store one day he said, "Bye Baby' to the white sales clerk. Later Till was forced into a truck by two white men. Till's head had been crushed, his eye taken out, and then he was shot in the head; his body was found at the bottom of the river. The two white men were arrested and stood trial but were not convicted because of a white jury.

Jimmie Lee Jackson was the deacon of his church in Marion, Alabama. Him and his family were not permitted to vote which angered him. His family went with a group during a night march. During the night march Jackson saw that his grandpa had been injured and tried to take him to a hospital but they were pushed into a cafe by state troopers. In the cafe Jackson saw his mother being beaten so he tried to help and was struck in the head with a club, pushed into a machine, then shot in the head. Jackson stumbled out of the cafe but died of his injuries. His killer was never publicly identified and no charges were ever brought up. Later, state legislature passed a resolution supporting the trooper's actions.

Important Groups

Ku Klux Klan was a white supremacy group of people against equal rights or immigration for anyone they didn't see as "racially pure." They were behind many bombings of buses, churches, ad many other buildings. One of the attacks that the KKK was responsible for was the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This attack took place on September 15, 1963 and resulted in the death of four young African American children named Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins. Robert Chambliss (a member of the KKK) was convicted of murder in 1977 and sentenced to many life sentences and other charges for the people injured in the bombing. In 2000, the case was reopened and two more men were found guilty and sentenced to life.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was the largest and oldest of the civil rights groups. Their purpose was to support court cases intended to overturn segregation. Many martyrs of the civil rights movement were part of the NAACP like Medgar Evers and George Lee. The NAACP were successful in many cases such as Norris v. Alabama, Morgan v. Virginia, and Sweatt v. Painter.